Uzbekistan & Kyzylkum Desert

Tour to Uzbekistan: The Main Attractions of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara & Khiva


Country: Uzbekistan Road map »»
Tour length: 9 days / 8 nights
Itinerary: TashkentSamarkandNurata – Yurt camp in Kyzylkum desert – Aydarkul LakeBukharaKhivaTashkent

Tour to Uzbekistan

On this tour we visit the legendary cities of the Silk Road, three of the most visited cities in Uzbekistan, each with its own soul, character and atmosphere:

  • Samarkand with its magnificent architectural heritage of Tamerlane, the spirit and grandeur of the former capital of the empire. This city is astonishing, eclectic and extraordinary.
  • Bukhara is a holy city of hundreds of mosques, madrassas and minarets, an ancient centre of trade and handicrafts. In its narrow streets, between ancient madrasahs and mosques, the special spirit of the Orient still lingers. Bukhara is one of the most important centres of Islam, not only in Central Asia but in the whole Muslim world.
  • Then we cross the Kyzylkum Desert and arrive in Khiva – a medieval jewel and true oriental fairytale with narrow streets and dozens of perfectly preserved historic buildings surrounded by fortress walls. Here you can feel the breath of the desert, learn traditions and enjoy the unique atmosphere inside the ancient citadel.
This trip will show you not only architectural masterpieces of UNESCO World Heritage List, but also a piece of the silent Kyzylkum Desert, the small town of Nurata – the only place in Uzbekistan where the unique system of underground water channels has been preserved, as well as a huge lake in the desert – Aidarkul Lake and a yurt camp on its shore. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of riding camels across the Kyzylkum Desert!
  • Itinerary /
    Services & Cost

  • VISA

  • FAQ
  • Useful Information
    Route Map


Tour itinerary 2024:
Day 1. Arrival in Tashkent. Tashkent (sightseeing).
Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.
Tashkent is the flavorful capital of Uzbekistan: it carries in itself both the modern infrastructure and the preserved cozy Old Town. Tashkent’s architecture is striking in its diversity and variety: archaeological monuments from the Zoroastrianism era that are more than 2200 years old, architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages, monumental buildings of the late 19th century, the most beautiful underground subway in the world, and of course, the numerous contemporary buildings.
Guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, Chor-Su Bazaar, Kukeldash Madrasah; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2. Tashkent – Samarkand by a high-speed train (2 hours).
Early breakfast at the hotel (or breakfast boxes). Transfer to the railway station. Transfer from Tashkent to Samarkand by Afrosiab high-speed train (07:28-09:42).
Samarkand is as old as Rome, it is one of the most ancient cities in the world and former capital of the great Timur empire. It is a museum city, a city which was once the heart of the caravan trade in the midst of the Great Silk Road. Samarkand conserved its unique aura of the Oriental medieval age until this very day.
Upon arrival in the city, we start our busy day in a jewel of the ancient and modern Silk Road. There is the mysterious jade Mausoleum of Gur-i-Emir, the graveyard of Tamerlane. One of the greatest treasures is Registan Square, Temur’s outstanding creation, a huge complex of minarets, mosques and madrassas. Further we move on to Bibi Khanum Mosque, the gorgeous Necropolis of Shah-i-Zinda, and the old observatory of Ulugbek, the greatest Muslim astronomer, and the neighboring Ulugbek museum.  Accommodation at the hotel in the evening, rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3. Samarkand – Nurata – Yurt camp in Kyzylkum desert by road (270 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the yurt camp at Aydarkul Lake via a small town of Nurata. Nurata lies on the border of the Kyzylkum Desert and the Nuratau Mountains. According to one of the legends about the origin of the town, a fiery stone, probably a meteorite fell here 40,000 years ago. In the resulting crater, a spring of healing water emerged, thanks to which Nurata is still a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.
Sightseeing tour in Nurata: visiting Namazgoh Mosque and ruins of fortress of Alexander the Great.
Proceed to the yurt camp located near Aydarkul Lake. At first glance, Lake Aidarkul appears to be nothing more than a mirage in the harsh desert. The lake was created in 1969 by people who diverted the waters of the Syr Darya River during the disastrous spring floods. Since then, Aidarkul has continued to grow. Flocks of waterfowl have migrated here from the shores of the shrinking Aral Sea. Aidarkul Lake lies far from human settlements, so you can enjoy the silence and nature there.
Accommodation and lunch. Walk in the surroundings. Dinner and overnight at the yurt camp.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Overnight at the yurt camp.

Day 4. Aydarkul Lake – Bukhara by road (300 km).
Breakfast at the yurt camp. Camel-back ride to the lake.
After a short camel adventure return to the camp and further transfer to Bukhara.
Bukhara is another ancient city in Uzbekistan which also was part of the Great Silk Road. Medieval Bukhara used to be one of the main political, cultural, and religious hubs of the Middle East. Over 140 architectural monuments have been preserved here. The historical center of Bukhara is included in the list of World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO.
Accommodation at the hotel on arrival. Rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5. Bukhara (sightseeing).
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum – dynastic tomb, combining the traditions of Sogdian and Islamic architecture; unusual mausoleum in the shape of an elongated prism, associated with biblical legends about the wandering Job – Chashma-Ayub Masoleum; the citadel of ancient Bukhara, the "city within a city" – the ancient Ark Fortress; the central ensemble and the main symbol of Bukhara – the Po-i-Kalyan Complex, including Kalyan Minaret; the austere and balanced Ulugbek Madrasa; Lab-i-Hauz Architectural Ensemble – the most famous square of Bukhara with an artificial pond around which are located Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah, Khanaka, the famous monument of Khoja Nasreddin and many cosy cafes.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6. Bukhara (sightseeing).
Continuation of the city tour in Bukhara. Today we will make a transfer 20 min from the old city center and visit the out-of-town sites: Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa, the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara; "Mecca of Central Asia" – a memorial complex of the famous philosopher and Sufi of the East Bakhouddin Naqshbandi, old sufi shrine.
Return to Bukhara, leisure time.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7. Bukhara – Khiva by road (440 km).
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer across the Kyzyl-Kum Desert and along the Amudarya River to Khiva. Lunch en route.
Khiva, which is more than 2500 years old, is a museum-like city of the ancient Khwarazm, colorful and barely touched by humans, it is a true example of a medieval city in Middle East. Khiva is the only city in Uzbekistan nowadays where a its shakhristan (inner city), Ichan-Kala, has been preserved almost entirely in its untouched state.
Arrival in Khiva. Leisure time. Visiting traditional workshops and souvenir shops is recommended.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8. Khiva (sightseeing). Khiva – Urgench by road (35 km).
Urgench Tashkent by evening flight
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Khiva: Ichan Kala (historical inner city), Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya-Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret. After lunch: Tash Khauli Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Aminkhan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum.
Transfer to Urgench (35 km, 30 min). Evening flight to Tashkent. Meet at airport, transfer to the hotel, check-in and rest.

Meals: breakfast.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9. Departure from Tashkent.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out before 12:00.
Transfer to the International airport for departure.

Meals: breakfast.

Cost of the tour in USD per person, season 2024:

Group 1 pax 2-3 pax 4-5 pax 6-7 pax 8-9 pax 10-11 pax Supplement for single accommodation
Hotel 3* 1724 USD 1047 USD 819 USD 795 USD 787 USD 783 USD +170 USD
Hotel 4* 2034 USD 1317 USD 1102 USD 1080 USD 1071 USD 1066 USD +210 USD

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels, mentioned above, or in similar, but of the same category in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check in on day 1 in Tashkent; check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00;
  • Accommodation at the yurt camp near Aydarkul lake (4 persons in a yurt, single accommodation is not possible);
  • Meals - all breakfasts; 1 lunch and 1 dinner at the yurt camp near Aydarkul;
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing (accompanying guide from 8 pax);
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers;
  • Railway transfer from Tashkent to Samarkand by a high-speed train (economy or business class tickets);
  • Bottled mineral water per day/per person.

Tour price does not include:

  • The cost of international flights
  • The cost of the local flight from Urgench to Tashkent - about 80 USD/per person (economy class)
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed above - about 80 USD/per person (can be paid on the spot);
  • Meals not mentioned above;
  • Medical expenses and insurance;
  • Porters at the hotels, railway stations and airports
  • Tips and gratitudes.

Information on the hotels

Location Hotel 3* Hotel 4*
Tashkent Sato 3* or similar Inspira-S 4* or similar
Samarkand Arba 3* or similar Zarafshon Parkside 4* or similar
Aydarkul lake Yurt camp
Bukhara Rangrez 3* or similar Paradise Plaza 4* or similar
Khiva New Star 3* or similar Asia Khiva 4* or similar

Depending on the size of a group the following means of transportation are used during the tour:

Group Type of transport
Group of 1–2 people "Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
Group of 4 people "Hyundai Starex minivan"
Group of 6–8 people "King Long minivan" or similar
Group of 9–14 people "Eurise minivan" or similar


Visa and Visa invitation to Uzbekistan:

Visa-free regime for up to 60 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Singapore
  • the Vatican
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»


Frequently Asked Questions


  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

Preparation for the tour and general information:

    1.Why should I go to Uzbekistan?

    2.When is it better to come to Uzbekistan?

    3.Do I need to apply for insurance?

    4.Do I need to get any vaccinations before my trip?

    5.What is the time zone in Uzbekistan?

    6.What language is spoken in Uzbekistan?


Visa, customs, documents:

    7. Do I need a visa to Uzbekistan?

    8. How much foreign currency is allowed to be imported into Uzbekistan? And exported?

    9. How many alcoholic beverages can be imported?

    10. What medicine should I bring with me? What are the rules for importing medicines?

    11. Do I need to issue any important documents upon arrival?

    12. What if I have a child with me?



    13. What currency is used in Uzbekistan?

    14. Where can I change my currency? Are there any nuances?

    15. How much cash do I need to have with me – for food, entrance fees, souvenirs and other additional expenses?

    16. Can I pay with a bank card or is it better to pay cash in Uzbekistan?


Organizational issues and transport:

    17. Where does the program start from?

    18. If I arrive at night or early in the morning on the first day of the tour, will I be met at the airport? The tour says that check-in at the hotel after 14: 00 - will I have to wait at the airport?

    19. Who and where will meet us at the airport? When will we meet the guide?

    20. What kind of transport will we use during the tour?

    21. We have railway crossings on our tours, who will give us train tickets and when?

    22. We want to independently move between cities and book hotel rooms ourselves. Can we only join city tours?


Group tour:

    23. What if the group is not complete enough?

    24. Can I take children with me on the group tour?

    25. Can I book an extra night at the hotel before or after the group program? In this case, what about the transfer to the airport?

    26. If I arrive on my own a few days before the start of the group program, can I cancel the airport-hotel transfer on arrival? Will the tour cost be recalculated?


Weather, clothing and footwear:

    27. What do I need to know about the weather and climate in Uzbekistan?

    28. Are there strict rules regarding clothing?

    29. What kind of clothes and shoes should I bring with me?


Nutrition and health:

    30. What will we eat during the tour?

    31. What dishes should I definitely try in Uzbekistan?

    32. What about the water? Is it possible to drink tap water?

    33. Where I can buy alcohol?


Culture and security:

    34. Is it safe in your country?

    35. Can I take photos/videos everywhere?

    36. Are there any national peculiarities that I should be aware of?

    37. How to behave in religious places? Tips for tourists: rules for visiting Muslim shrines.


Internet, mobile communication:

    38. Is there internet in hotels?

    39. Where and how can I buy a local SIM card to have mobile internet?


Shopping and souvenirs:

    40. What is recommended to bring home from Uzbekistan?

    41. Where and what to buy?

Photos of the tour:

View all photos »»

Our video gallery:

Traditional cuisine of Central Asia
Cuisine of Central Asia
Pilafs in Tashkent
Pilafs in Tashkent
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Wine-Making in Uzbekistan
Uzbek fruit and vegetables
Uzbek Fruit and Vegetables

View all videos »»

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the copyright owner.

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